ETOBICOKE, ON: The drive is alive for the Humber Hawks women's volleyball team, as they knocked off a very stubborn and persistent George Brown Huskies squad on Saturday afternoon by a score of 3-1 (25-23, 18-25, 25-19, 25-12) in the crossover round of the 2019 OCAA playoffs. With the victory, the Hawks will advance to the 2019 OCAA Championship next week at Cambrian College in Sudbury, looking to build on their current streak of eleven straight OCAA crowns.
The old saying is that "you do not win games on paper, you win them on the court". Coming onto this match, it seemed like the 10-8 Huskies were overmatched by the 14-4 and defending champion Hawks, but they played brilliant at times. When the dust settled on the four-setter, it was the experience, and maybe a boost from the home-town crowd that pushed Humber across the finish line.
The match took on three different looks along the way. The first one emerged in the opening set, where it was nip and tuck all the way along. The Hawks battled from behind most of the way, as the upstart Huskies squad transitioned balls efficiently, and turned them into points. Once Humber snared a lead in the 20's, they carried it home, but it took a lot of wind out of their sails.
The next phase of the match saw a determined George Brown team take advantage of a Hawks team that became error prone. Humber's miscues were all self-inflicted, as they did not find any flow at all, both offensively and defensively. With a strong contingent of Huskie supporters, it was the visitors that had control after two sets.
The final chapter was written the same way across the last two sets. Whatever Humber head coach Chris Wilkins had to say, it surely motivated the Hawks, as they came out on fire. With an extra wind behind their backs, they burst out in the set, moving effortlessly as a group. They elevated their game in every aspect of the game, getting a hand on every Huskies attack and putting balls away consistently.
The only slight change in the final set was some confusion with the players on the floor for George Brown. They were called numerous times for being out of rotation, resulting in points coming Humber's way.
A trio of Hawks checked in with ten offensive points. Emma Heeney and Julia Watson with 10 kills, while Rosella Falcomer also had ten points, based on nine kills and a service ace. George Brown's Beatriz Vilches led both teams with eleven points (9 kills, 1 ace, 1 block).
Humber will now head to Cambrian College on Thursday morning, and will take to the court for semi-final action on Friday. Their opponent has yet to be determined.